How I Became a NorCal Hippie

By Lisa Murphy

The other day I found myself at a Trader Joe’s in East Sacramento wearing Toms, a Yoga Seed Collective sweatshirt and a sterling silver lotus charm around my neck. It occurred to me that at the ripe old age of 27 I had become that woman I used to make fun of; the person I would immediately judge and pigeonhole as a granola, tree-hugging hippie on a perpetual meditation-induced high.

While browsing the cereal aisle for gluten free options, and diligently searching the dairy section for a cashew cheese to accommodate my twenty-one day vegan challenge, I wondered how I had arrived here. While admiring my prayer bead bracelet, I debated if I really even had a problem with this evolution.

I went home and practiced crow to handstand on my Manduka yoga mat to give myself some space to contemplate this a little more.

I came to the conclusion that I am happy that I have completely forgone racing to the overcrowded 24 Hour Fitness after work, in order to make Emily Burton’s Vinyasa Flow class at Yoga Shala, three days a week. I am thrilled that an unintended side effect of my mostly plant based diet has been going down one full pant size, dress size, and unfortunately bra size (can’t have it all I guess). Overall I am a happier, healthier, more energetic and more centered person.

So why the resistance to this transformation?

The reality is I think we are quick to judge people who choose a healthy lifestyle because of our own fears of facing those challenges. We make excuses like we just do not have the time or money to dedicate to it or we just could never give up (insert unnecessary daily indulgence here, for me it was peanut M &M’s).

Like anything, it is a choice we make. It is about finding the willingness to put your health before anything else. And personally for me it is just part of growing up and choosing to feel good most of the time instead of temporarily gratified.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a full convert. I still have indulgences, I still give into temptation. I just stuffed down my fourth (okay maybe fifth) piece of French toast casserole that was brought into my office for a (not my) birthday brunch.

I still treat myself to thick pieces of freshly baked bread, candy sprinkled donuts, big meaty lamb/pork/beef burgers and all things drenched in cheese. But you better believe, after having given my body a feel for the alternative, I am generally not happy with these choices after the fact.

So while I schedule a dinner date at Plum café, and make my grocery list for the co-op. While I daydream about spending over an hour at the Midtown farmer’s market on Saturday comparing hummus options and schedule my entire weekend around my yoga classes. While I seriously consider dropping almost $400 to attend the Wanderlust festival in July, I smile because I am happy with the “hippie” I have become.

Note: This article is not meant to preach. Every person finds their bliss in a different way. I am not suggesting that yoga studios and vegan potlucks are in your future or even right for you. I am simply reflecting on a transformation that I have undergone in the past year that just feels right, in the hopes that if another Girl on the Grid finds herself going through a similar transformation, she will not resist it so much.

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